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Subsistence and Seasonality during the Thule Phase (ca. 1000 B.P. to contact era) at Point Spencer, Alaska

Author(s): Stephanie Jolivette ; Ross Smith ; Shelby Anderson

Year: 2017

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Intensification of marine resource use is well documented over the last 1000 years in northern Alaska, but the role of other resources in the subsistence economy is poorly understood. In order to better understand the full range of subsistence activities, and to reconstruct season of site occupation, we undertook analysis of faunal materials from several Thule Phase sites located on Point Spencer, Alaska. The subsistence remains from a large site near the tip of the peninsula (TEL-8) were found to be dominated by sea mammals, primarily ringed seals (Pusa hispida), with bird remains dominated by eiders (Somateria spp.) and other seaducks and mergansers. By contrast, least auklets (Aethia pusilla) dominated the bird fauna of the other sites along the peninsula, and fewer sea mammal remains were identified. These sites also contain large quantities of fish bone, in contrast to TEL-8 site where fish bones were extremely rare. The variety in faunal remains suggest that this region was an important subsistence gathering location across multiple seasons and that local diet was relatively diverse. These results contribute new data to a limited but growing body of research on diet and subsistence activities in Arctic hunter-gatherer groups over the last 1000 years.

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Subsistence and Seasonality during the Thule Phase (ca. 1000 B.P. to contact era) at Point Spencer, Alaska. Stephanie Jolivette, Ross Smith, Shelby Anderson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429240)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16632

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America